EFF sues the NSA

Earlier attempts by privacy and civil liberties advocates to sue the NSA over it data gathering activities were rejected by the courts because of a two-pronged government defense strategy: (1) refuse to confirm or deny that such programs exist on grounds of national security and then (2) argue in court that since the plaintiffs could not prove that they had been under surveillance, they had no right to sue. Shamefully, the courts accepted this Catch-22 style argument.

But now that the Snowden leaks have forced the government to acknowledge the existence of these programs, these lawsuits are back. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has issued a press release describing the latest move by a broad coalition.

Nineteen organizations including Unitarian church groups, gun ownership advocates, and a broad coalition of membership and political advocacy organizations filed suit against the National Security Agency (NSA) today for violating their First Amendment right of association by illegally collecting their call records. The coalition is represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a group with years of experience fighting illegal government surveillance in the courts.

In addition to the First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles, the full list of plaintiffs in this case includes the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Calguns Foundation, Greenpeace, Human Rights Watch, People for the American Way, and TechFreedom.

You can read the full complaint of First Unitarian v. NSA here.


  1. thebookofdave says

    Well, that would just present a more clear-cut charge of civil rights abuse, and a tougher one to dodge with a state’s secrets defense. Thanks for taking one for the team, Nick!

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